11 February, 2024
It may not look like much...
...but this little motor could dramatically increase the range of the Rhino-Bike. What's the Rhino-Bike? Read on...
Welcome back to the ongoing tale of the Rhino-Bike, in which Velocity follows appliance engineer Andy Lindsay as he builds up to an epic fundraising ride to help save the rhinoceros.
Reminder #1: Andy will mark World Rhino Day on 22 September by riding from south London to Bedfordshire's Whipsnade Zoo, home to southern white and greater one-horned rhinos, to raise money for Save The Rhino International.
He'll be riding his unique Rhino-Bike (pictured) - but modified with an electric motor. Velocity is following Andy's efforts to upgrade the bike. "It may not look like much," he said when we checked in for a progress report. "But, if the kit installs ok and it works, this little motor could dramatically increase the range of the new Rhino-Bike and improve our chances of getting people interested in rhino conservation."
Reminder #2: the source of Andy's passion was a 2006 report that northern white, Sumatran and Javan rhinos were at the edge of extinction thanks to poaching and habitat loss. Andy was appalled "at the decline of these amazing, iconic animals, the breathtaking cruelty and extraordinary human indifference with which they are killed".
"I knew I had to do something. With no connections and a super low budget, I needed to come up with a plan to raise awareness and support for rhino conservation."
He built the striking Rhino-Bike to raise awareness. It's been through four versions, starting with a four-seater that rode from London to Hull in 2006. The two-seater Mk II made it from London to Edinburgh, covering 535 miles in 13 days. In 2008, another four-seat version circumnavigated London in five days; it was superseded by the current "very heavy" Mk IV with its full fibreglass body - and, soon, a 500Watt electric hub motor power assist.
"I finally bit the bullet and purchased a full motor conversion kit," Andy said. If you've ever been curious about motorising your bike, we'll detail Andy's methods and success (we hope) here soon.